UFC president Dana White says that Charles Oliveira is “without a doubt one of the top three lightweights in the world right now.”
Oliveira had a brilliant performance at UFC 256 this past weekend, as he completely dominated former interim UFC lightweight champ Tony Ferguson for 15 minutes. Oliveira has now won eight straight fights and is banging on the door of a title shot. The Brazilian said that he believes UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will stay true to his retirement after he was told he swore on his father’s grave, so Oliveira is now targeting the winner of UFC 257’s Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier.
Speaking to ESPN following UFC 256, White was asked what he thinks of Oliveira now. White said that, after beating Ferguson in the dominant fashion that he did, he believes Oliveira is “without a doubt” a top-three fighter in the world at 155lbs. However, he wouldn’t confirm that Oliveira would be fighting for the belt just yet.
“I was just saying, it’s going to be interesting on Tuesday to see where the media ranks him in that division. He’s without a doubt one of the top three guys in the world right now. We’ve got some fights coming up in that division and I have a meeting with Khabib, so we’ll see how this thing plays out,” White said.
The entire lightweight division’s future hinges on what Nurmagomedov wants to do. If he opts to retire, then the winner of McGregor vs. Poirier against Oliveira would seem likely. But if Nurmagomedov decides to make a comeback, then the winner of McGregor vs. Poirier or possibly Oliveira becomes an option for him. With other top lightweights such as Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler, White just loves 155lbs.
“It couldn’t be any more exciting, it couldn’t be any more fun, and you couldn’t have better guys in the top-five than you do right now,” White said.
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